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Monday, March 23, 2015

A Slice of Heaven: Shaved Asparagus Pizza With Robiola & Truffle Oil

When I splurge, I really go for it. So it's no surprise that today's already decadent (yet gorgeously simple) Pizza of creamy, rich Robiola Cheese is further spiked with a good dose of truffle-y goodness. You only live once, you know? To keep dinner somewhat legitimate, we've topped our pie with thin shavings of raw Asparagus (a very good idea that I learned from Smitten Kitchen). Let it not be said that we don't eat our veggies. On the contrary, we love them! 

Shaved Asparagus Pizza With Robiola & Truffle Oil, Photo: NK

This Pizza makes your otherwise ho-hum dinner plans into a real treat in no time flat. The key? Robiola - a distinct yet very mild soft Italian Cheese that is worth seeking out, but if you can't find it, Goat Cheese or Ricotta make worthy substitutes. A nice bottle of good quality White Truffle Oil is a pantry investment that keeps on giving. For the Truffle Salt component, we love Vines & Branches Black Truffle Sea Salt but other brands are widely available at specialty markets.

Now let's get cooking and allow me to wish you Buon Appetito! 


Shaved Asparagus Pizza With Robiola & Truffle Oil
Serves 2-3
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
4-6 Large Stalks of Asparagus, tough ends trimmed off
1 Medium Round of Prepared Pizza Dough 
Flour, for dusting and rolling out dough
6 Ounces of Robiola* Cheese, room temperature (Goat Cheese or even Ricotta make good stand-ins)
1 Tablespoon White Truffle Oil plus more 
Truffle Salt, or other flakey Salt 
Black Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
Recommended Equipment: A Vegetable Peeler,  A large piece of Parchment Paper & A Pizza Stone

*Robiola is a soft, bloomy Italian cheese that is made from a mix of goat and sheep milk. There are several types of Robiola. The most commonly used on Pizza would be Robiola Piemonte. You can also use Robiola Bosina which comes with an edible rind. In this case,  I like to scoop out the middle for topping the pizza and use some of the rind (not all) because it tends to froth a bit when melted. Either way, it will taste good! 

Method:
1. Place Pizza Stone on the bottom-most rack of the over and preheat for at least a half hour on 525.

Shaved Asparagus, Photo: NK
2. Meanwhile, on a clean, floured work surface, roll your dough into a ball. Stretch carefully into a round and transfer onto a large square of parchment paper. 

3. To prepare the Asparagus, place the spears on a work surface and drag a vegetable peeler across them lengthwise. Be sure to peel away from yourself to avoid injury. Keep going until you have a nice pile of Shaved Asparagus 

4. Drizzle Oil into the middle of the dough. Using a paper towel, lightly spread the Oil over the dough and  crust. Add a bit more if needed. You ideally want a slight sheen, not a grease slick.

5. Dot the Dough all over with chunks of Robiola. Nestle the Shaved Asparagus on top of the Cheese and Sprinkle all over with Truffle Salt, Black Pepper. and a few sprinkles of Crushed Red Pepper (if you like a little kick).
Prepare on Parchment for easy transfer to the Pizza Stone
Photo: NK

6. Drizzle Pie with a bit more Truffle Oil. Holding the parchment by each corner, carefully transfer the Pizza directly onto the Pizza Stone in the Oven.

7. Allow to cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Carefully remove Pizza and Stone from oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes before slicing and serving.  

Enjoy! 

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